By Alexandra Burlacu | Aug 19, 2012 12:53 PM EDT
Research in Motion (RIM) may have passed on a great opportunity when it chose to stick to its QNX-based platform rather than adopting or licensing Android, but it's still drawing inspiration from other platforms for the BlackBerry 10, its next major release of its BlackBerry OS. According to an Information Week report, BlackBerry 10 OS will include a unified approach to displaying contact information.
With BlackBerry 10's new contact management approach, all details pertaining to a particular contact would be pulled onto a single page, including social networking streams such as Facebook status updates or Twitter notifications. Moreover, BlackBerry 10 will go even further and include enterprise-specific information such as recent email messages or upcoming meetings with that particular contact.
According to T.A. McCann, who is in charge of developing the contact manager application and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) in the new platform, the focus is on productivity. "BlackBerry has always had this heritage of productivity," McCann told Reuters. "We are just going to make it better yet again, when we launch BB10."
These features first debuted back in 2009, on the Motorola Droid. Android 2.0 came up years ago with the ability to see contact details from social networks, and it has expanded this feature over time. Windows Phone has a similar feature as well, with contact cards in People Hub displaying social network updates.
With the new features, RIM hopes that its upcoming BlackBerry 10 OS will remain relevant among enterprise users, its main user base. Meanwhile, other platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android are becoming increasingly more popular in the enterprise sector, especially since numerous companies have adopted BYOD (bring your own device) programs in the corporate setting.
RIM has also acknowledged it is considering the possibility of licensing its operating system to other manufacturers, but a potential partner, Samsung, has said it is not interested in running BlackBerry OS on its smartphones. If it wants to keep up, RIM has to focus on improving and innovating, not just borrowing features from other platforms. After several delays, the new BlackBerry 10 platform and smartphones are now due in early 2013.
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